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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  December 26, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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. >> not a creature was stirring, not a one. they are still on vacation. but hey, we're here. >> down in washington, d.c., there is a dark storm cloud over the capitol today. there is. look. >> i always envision her as a weather girl, but a girl has to follow her heart. just like you followed your heart to the cycle. >> aloha and welcome back from the long holiday weekend. president obama is cuts his short and set to leave hawaii tonight to head back to d.c.
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he will avoid one pr nightmare being on vacation while the precious moments tick away. he faces another as being a president who let the country go off the cliff. if you think that's a bad thing. the senate is back in action and the house has yet to receive a 48 hour heads up to return. john boehner said he refuses to call him back if there is no deal to vote on. he has given up hope and opting to work with senate democrats to push their bill from this past summer that extends rates on those less than $250,000. he failed to get his party behind a threshold and what are the odds this bill will pass. let's get the latest read on those not going on on capitol hill. luke, what is the latest? >> the latest is that there is aides i spoke to that think there is a 50-50 chance that the
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senate could get a small scale agreement on the floor the next few days and possibly be passed. that gets more and more unlikely as time goes by. harry reid is gauging interest with republican and democratic senators. he doesn't want to put anything on the floor that would not pass out of the senate. then he is asking republicans to vote for a tax increase for no reason. he wants assurances it would go down to the house floor and be gone for a vote. if that were to happen, you would see it passed out of the house with the democrats and as few as 30 or 40 republicans. john boehner stood by this rule that he wants the majority of majority. boehner and president obama have not spoken over the last few days. there seems to be no communication there. for all intents and purposes, there is a 50-50 sign. a lost folks say more likely than not we go over the slif
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because they cannot afford it. >> if we go over the cliff, there several million americans who that will impact in terms of people unemployment benefits. maybe they have benefits wrapped up in the market. is there an appropriate sense of urgencey and the amount of pain this will cause in some people's lives. >> to be honest with you and i put my american hat on right now and take off my journalist one, i am perplexed by the lack of urgency from our elected leaders on both sides. this is not a problem that has come up randomly. we were facing this for a long time. many months. there seems to be a wisdom amongst a lot of people in washington that okay, we didn't go over the cliff and it's not a big deal. the treasury can take care of this problem january 3rd and
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january 4th. the question is how will the markets react? we do not know. people can pontificate all they want. we have a huge drop and people short sell. we don't know that. it is surprising that the house representative is not even scheduled to be in. they are working on a foreign intelligence bill. we are not really moving in and the president doesn't come back tomorrow morning. we are not moving towards an agreement that conversations are not as fluid as they once were last week. kind of scary and daunting in a country where we are still very much coming out of a recession. >> nbc awe luke russert. thanks as always. we have the congressional editor at politico. to sort of pick up on the point, i see at least if you are on the
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democratic side. i see why they would not have a sense of urgency for next week. seems like the basic perimeter is whether there is a deal now or next week. there people who are working poor and middle class people who will be hurt with the payroll tax going away. it seems like the basic difference between this week and next week, right now house republicans will not vote for any kind of a tax increase under a million dollars. they wouldn't support that. obama can come to them and say here's the tax cut for all income, $250,000 less. are you for or against it. that's an incentive for them to wait. >> the democrats still feel like they have a lot of leverage politically and strategy-wise and going into the new year is not that bad for democrats. it's bad for real americans. let's go back to the tax. your paycheck is going down 2%. everyone's taxes go up.
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it will really have an effect is when people get their first paycheck in january and the christmas bills are due, the average working class family will have their paycheck drop not 2% but closer to 5%. democrats see it as leverage, but it hurts real people for the short-term. >> when you talk about it, absolutely. if we go over the cliff without changing anything, this will be the end of unemployment benefits for more than two million americans. people who cannot wait a couple of months to get the money back and don't have the safety net. this is a very serious situation for some americans. on this show we have a slope and not a cliff. for some it is an immediate pain cliff situation. >> we should differentiate between the things that are really a cliff. unemployment and income taxes and the other things like the spending cuts draw out over a year. the sequester and other things.
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you wouldn't have to worry about that. those things can be fixed. the democrats don't have a sense of urgency. i don't know if the republicans have a sense of urgency. it's not clear what leverage they have. much less the president. there is still time to get something done, just the way the mechanics of congress work. getting the senate to the agreement and running out the clock and calling the house republicans back. it's hard to see how they can vote on something before newier's eve. >> marty, to steve's point, one of the major source of pain is the payroll tax cut. when they negotiate a deal, unfortunately it's going away. i was taking a look at something nate was writing as he wants to do, talking about the numbers here. specifically looking at the break down of who was in the house. between tea party republicans of which there is a lot and blue dog democrats of which there few and liberal democrats. he is basically making the point
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that if boehner does want to stick with the principal that he is going to pass something with a majority of his caucus, he will need a significant amount of support or some support from liberal democrats, not just blue dogs. what kind of a deal could realistically get to the house that holds together most of the caucus and also brings along some liberal democrats? >> that's where we are stuck. if we can figure this out, you know that john boehner and nancy pelosi and the wimps in the chambers are trying to figure it out. the right combination of the income threshold for tax increases with entitlement cuts, we haven't found it. the theory that republicans only want to pass something with the majority, that worked for haster when he was speaker. it's hard to see what kind of tax increase will get a majority of republicans and bring along enough democrats. boehner couldn't pass a million
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dollar tax increase. why do we think he can get something out of the house if they lower it to 400,000 or 500,000. we are skeptical that they can come together with the solution in the next five or six days. >> marty, we spent a lot of time talking about the house. what is mitch mcconnell thinking in the senate? >> he is a fascinating part of this. first of all, he is probably going to vote against any deal that raises taxes. whether he actively whips against it or lets it go, there is a number of senate republicans who seem open to upper income tax increases. some of the new england moderates, scott brown and susan collins. it doesn't seem like it would be as challenging to get something out of the senate. he is not going to stick his neck out and get something to the senate floor to have the house blow it up. >> marty, we have heard voices
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saying the same thing. you have tom coal saying we should go long with the tax increases. >> even in the minority. the republicans were 20 votes short. we sometimes forget, that's significant. they were only 20 votes short. nancy pelosi and the democrats, the idea of getting all the democrats to sign and bring the bill to the floor. if you can get 15 it 20 republicans to also sign on, maybe the tom cole types, they say we are not going to get a better deal and we don't want the party to pay hell for this. >> it seems unlikely. it's almost unheard of for a minority party and force action by the majority party on the floor. it might sound like a nice idea and say we are all unified. if you find the 15 or 20 republicans, good luck. they would be outcasts in their
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conference. as it is, these votes will have to take and if republicans vote to increase taxes, these are going to have serious consequences and get primaries and people end up losing their jobs if they vote for a tax increase. >> that's right. the primary challenges always loom. thank you so much for joining us. before we go, i just realized something missing from the segment. it was the voice of se cup. she must have been drinking. she has no mouth. that's why she is so quiet. >> i still hear her thoughts in my head. >> she looks happy. se will be hopefully back later this week. i hope she had a great christmas. it has been a tough year for the country on multiple fronts from the economy to the tragic and senseless acts of gun violence across america. there is one answer for both
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problems. s.e. is on the dl, but we will roll on for the final wednesday of 2011. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ breathes deeply ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. when i said we should put armed security in every school, the media called me crazy. we need to have every single school in america immediately deploy a protection program, proven to work and by that, i
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mean armed security. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, call me crazy. it's the one thing that would keep people safe. the nra would try to do that. there monsters out there every day and we need to do something to stop it. a gun is a tool. the problem is the criminal. >> that's the best, i guess, of nr a's ceo. after the press conference friday, he had another strike out on "meet the press." a house democrat is backing a package that pushes background checks on gun buyers and those on the terrorist watch list. from buying and owning guns. yeah. right now that is actually legal. in addition, the bill would
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require gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons and make it harder to carry permits. do you notice what's missing from the list? armed guards at the school. with matt miller, we will talk about all of this. matt, republican pollster was on cbs talking about wayne la pierre and i want to listen to the comments and get your take. >> i don't think the nra is listening. i don't think that they understand. most americans would protect the second amendment rights and yet agree with the idea that not every human being should own a gun. not every gun should be available at any time, everywhere, for anywhere. you should not be able to buy something at a gun show without any check whatsoever. what they are looking for is a common sense approach that says those who are law-abiding should continue to have the right to own a weapon, but that you don't
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believe that right should be extended to everyone at every time for every type of weapon. >> matt, what i think frank is getting at is that republicans generally in the nra specifically seem outside of the mainstream on gun issues. my perspective is on a range of social issues on abortion rights and same-sex marriage and whatever party is seeming at that moment to be too far to the extreme out of the mainstream is the party that is losing on the issue. i think we may be seeing gun rights as the next sort of war on women issue. what i mean by that is i'm pes niftic that legislation is going to pass the house that's going to change anything at the federal level. i think because republicans are now seeping so far out of the mainstream on this issue, gun control could pully become for the first time a winning issue for democrats to run on. >> i hope you're right.
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i think wayne la pierre's behavior and the dynamic we are seeing means who knows. the republican majority has the house and it will be hard it get meaningful gun reform and legislation through the house. he's hoping if they keep delaying and fogging the issue with the other kinds of weird proposals that are not real answers, this can be pumped down and other things will take over the news and if obama doesn't stress and decide to invest capital, it won't make a big difference. one hope would be if someone like mike bloomberg and others under citizens united would step up and say we are going to stand and protect everybody who steps forward and votes for common sense mainstream gun reform. that might give them the political security to take on the nra and having investment to knock them out. >> i thought of that same thing. there needs to be significant
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counter weight to the nra. talking about the political reality, republicans obviously still in control of the house. we are focused on the fiscal cliff and whatever is going to happen with that. logistically, the time of the year. we are talking about months before there is going to be legislation that could be put on the table. what do you think could pully realistically have a chance of passing? >> i'm skeptical like you ever. i hope it plugs the loophole that they get through at the various gun shows. i hope there can be something on magazine clips. the thing i would most like to see is an attempt to do a buy back program back in 1996. if we did that and invested real money, you could -- if we overpaid for the guns we want to get off the street, that's the big problem. anything we do now at the margin will not reduce the stock.
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that's part of the problem. why not make it a stimulus at the same time we get guns back and reduce the inventory and the chance we will have these beings and firearms. >> it's a clever idea and a clever way to sell it. the basic point there about what a gun buy back program would do, the experience we had with the assault weapons ban is we banned them effective 1994 and said everything before 1994 is still legal. the guns are not going bad. they are all out there and we have millions out there. that ban expires in 04. i don't think you practically agree. we will not have a gun buy back soon, but short of something like that where you make an effort to get the guns off the street, can we make a dent? >> i am more optimistic than you are about a gun buy back. the media is looking at what australia did. they got something like 1/5 of their guns bought back over two
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years. 50 million guns in the u.s. does that solve the problem? no. does it show we can make a dent if we are serious? yes. two congress men introduced a gun buy back stimulus inspired i hope by my column. i wanted 100 billion a year. we are only off by an order of magnitude that is universe. >> is it something we can see republicans getting? >> it would address the question of if it was voluntary. you are not compelling people and say pay $2500 or $1500 for their assault rifle. if you top the do it, fine. have a race to the top on a gun buy back instead of buy states that fit their local gun culture and the feds would top it off. >> one thing we have to remember is it didn't actually ban anything. we didn't have an assault weapons ban. the thing with you right now, gun sales have rocketed upward
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in the wake of newtown, tennessee said gun purchases are an all time high and wal-mart sold out of sem automatics in five states. a leading bullet manufacturer said they sold three in three days and that benefits the nra because in many stores, they get $1 from the sale of every gun and every package of ammunition. a counter weight to the nra, there is a lot of money in gun rights legislation and working that side of the aisle. no money to be made in gun control. we have the total fight. >> you are right. what can we do about that? you lay out why it's a really uphill battle. maybe it is that citizens united will create the ability for billionaires and high network people or membership groups that top the fight for common sense measures to pour the kind of money into the political process
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to make a difference. if there is a way to combine the fiscal cliff and a way to arm those who will be full verable to losing the payroll tax in 30 days and have their gun bought back. wey category combine every possible proposal in one. ask that is an incredible idea. i am here in washington and my fellow cyclists are up in new york, it doesn't matter where you are this holiday week. you are probably talking about the nasty weather. that's what we are talking about here too. weather channel meteorologist karl parker takes his turn in the cycle. next.
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. developing now, a massive post christmas weather mess is sweeping across the country. hundreds of flights have been canceled from the midwest to the northeast. mother nature is fliing into next. carl parker is live from the
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weather channel headquarters in atlanta. it's not been a picnic down there either. >> it's been a long period that we have been watching the storm. it will continue to be in our hair for a couple of days, but only a windy rain storm for the most part. let's take a look at where it is and show you what's going on with the system. we are watching this intense area of low pressure and big feed of moisture along the east side of that area of low pressure. that is driving in warmer air and so it's again going to be a rain storm. there will be quite a bit of wind coming in with the system that will be this evening and through the late evening hours. here's the radar picture right now and the snow is coming down across indiana. as much as a foot there. that snow is coming down and in detroit and cleveland. we are seeing moderate snow across central pennsylvania and
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freezing rain here in south central pennsylvania and also just outside of philly. we have seen a bit of snow in the new york city metro and also newark and la guardia. here is the heavy rain and as that drives up from the south, it is going to include quite a bit of wind. the winds could gust as high as 50 or 60 along the jersey shore and up into new york along the next several hours. 6 to 12 inches of snow and a large swath as much as a foot of snow in western parts of new york. steve, back to you. >> thank you, karl parker. the good news is it puts us all in the holiday spirit. i guess we will have an interesting spin cycle here with crystal on location. sitting here at the table, i guess we all kind of went and did what we do for the holidays. i had a good time. i went with my family.
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those are my cousins, the official cereal. >> patriot territory. >> where new york beats boston. san francisco 49ers and my uncle is a cardinal says fan. for that reason? >> the san diego aztecs play arizona. we don't have those interests. i had a great christmas with my family and got my aunt's lasagna which was fantastic. it was good to see everybody. that's what i did. >> i like that hoodie sweatshirt with the no shirt underneath. i think you can pull that off. it's a good family look. i like that. >> there you go.
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>> we did whole thing with ella and she is 4 and she's into santa. we left the cookies and santa ate almost all of them. we left oats for the rain door and all that stuff. we had a near glitch. she got this wind up music box and it didn't work. later in the day my mom said don't worry. we can return it. ella goes return it to who? how are you going to call santa? she is sort of a natural skeptic. grandma was quick on her feet and said don't worry, i have a special line for the elves. sometimes even the elves make a mistake. they will send another one and it will be fine. she was like okay, sure. whatever grandma. lovely christmas. i am supposed to be eating for two. i think i ate for five or six. you know, that's what happened. >> my 5-year-old and 3-year-old, we didn't talk about santa at
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all. i went shopping with them and let hendricks pick out a present for himself and his sister. he is good for picking out for his sister. the idea that the presents did not come from us never came up. it never occurred. we put out the presents before bedtime on christmas eve. there was no myth that some stranger is going to come in through the door. >> chimney. >> there is no chimney in our apartment in brooklyn. >> he has a way to describe it. >> i'm sorry. we didn't lie to our children. i don't think that that's lame, but whatever. judge not. judge not. >> they pick out their own presents? they didn't get a surprise? what kind of christmas is that. i'm glad you are not my dad. >> okay. we are getting real. i'm glad you are not my dad. i'm glad you are not my daughter either. the major part for me for the holiday, i went to see flight and silver linings play back
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with my wife to the great films that are out. denzel is awesome. a man in the grip of alcoholism. this film will have you on the edge of your seat. denzel will be close to the top in the best actionor race for the oscars. the play sbook also awesome. the move we a lot of stars. bradley cooper and jennifer lawrence and robert deniro is in that one. a man in the grip of mental illness in trying to deal with that. i sort of coalesced around what will the oscar race be. i'm saying zero dark 30 will win. >> i saw a movie called christmas vacation. it's the 28th straight year we watched it. a great movie. >> we watched willie wonka. >> that was a great one. the 71 version with gene wilder.
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>> that won seven oscars. >> the new is kind of creepy. >> johnny depp. >> what are did a stranger break down your door and give you for christmas? >> that's creepy. >> a kindle, a nook, an ipad? the man who ran the fcc on this thing we call the internet was born. the claims are a click away. maybe more than a click, but i think you get the drift.
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>> with the a and the ring around it. >> at? >> that's what i said. katie said she thought it was about. >> i never heard it said. i had seen the remark and violence at nbc. >> it would have to be around. >> violence at nbc ge com.
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>> what is that? >> what is internet anyway? >> it's that massive computer network that is becoming really big now. >> wa do you mean? what do you write to it like mail? >> a lot of people can communicate with nbc writers and producers. can you explain what internet is? >> yeah, allison, can you explain what this internet thing is. >> i don't get it. >> i don't think there is room for anything new. prodigy and compu serve have the market cornered. >> how do you use it? do you write to it? >> does it need a postage stamp? that's just a pain. how does that work? >> i think you type, but somehow is t goes somewhere. do elves deliver it to other places? the internet was such a foreign term that they would sit there going what is this thing? now in 2013, the worldwide web
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is worldwide. the guy who ran the fcc while katie and brian and the rest of us tried to translate, that letter a with the circle thingy, the answers are all there. not just to questions like how many times has lindsay lohan been arrested. can we find out when we are all going to die? reid hunt is the chairman of the coalition for green capital and the politics of abundance and how they revive the american dream and establish obama's legacy. how are you, sir? >> good morning. >> i'm interested in how technology can revive the dream. let's talk about post partisan ways to use technology to change a lot of the problems we have. >> let's talk about that. everybody agrees that only growth can give us the american dream again and balance the budget. >> how? >> the key to any successful economy in the world today is to
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have widespread broadband, lots of that internet you were just talking about and very, very cheep and clean energy. if we can move the economy very, very rapidly to cheep and clean energy and to very widespread broadband, we will have the platform on which rapid economic growth will be possible. >> you made the me think about a guest we had a couple of weeks ago. ray was brilliant and talked a lot about the singularity and the future where man and machine and technology will be much more merged than we are now. technology will allow it to do things that are unimaginable at this point. do you foresee that future where technology becomes part of the body and allows it to go to another level. >> the most exciting parts about the future are actually very easy and immediate. here's an example. think of spotify. you can create a music library and be delivered to you and available to you on any
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platform. on a smart phone or computer. the same thing could exist for health care. the same thing can exist for education. it personalized health care system and education system available to the student and available to anyone of any age on any platform at any time. the advances you see in entertainment and gaming are possible in health care, education and all government services. >> if we can dig down into education a bit more because i think the disparity in our education system, the haves and have nots in terms of education is another major barrier in terms of keeping the american dream alive. our education system has basically worked the same from inception. the classroom that my daughter will be in looks like the one i was in. looks like the one my parents were in. it seems like that we may may be on the verge of a technological revolution. some example i will give you is
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these massive open online courses where high level institutions like harvard and mit are opening up courses to thousands of people around the world, typically free and typically no credit given. students are grading each other because there so many you could never hope to have a professor grade all the students's work. what sort of innovations do you see transforming the classroom in the way that education is delivered? >> the main thing about the internet-driven revolution and every sector of the economy. up becomes down and down becomes up. people should be doing their homework in classes with tutors and should be getting the lectures not in the classes, but at homes online. let me give you another example. if you are an able student from a high income family, you have a seven times greater chance and probability of being in an elite university than if you are just
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as able, but from a low-income family. that's a disparity that is cleatly unfair. it is completely inconsistent with the american dream and hopes we have for everybody in our society to be all that they can be. the internet has to be used by interior entrepreneurs to find children of unique ability and teach them individually and give them the maximum opportunity to take advantage of those abilities. that same capability that the internet mermts to identify consumer preference can be used to identify the likelihood to achieve an educational topic. >> so your idea seems to be unleash the innovation and that is the key to reviving growth and economic growth. there was an interesting op ed from robert gordon where he argued that that link, the innovation has been severed and
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said basically the kind of growth we have known in this country was the result mainly of the light bulb and everything was spun off of the invention of the light bulb and spun off of that. that's the growth for decades and a little bit of growth early and a spurt of growth early in the computer age, but that tapered off and that kind of growth made ponl by that innovation is not possible in the future. we will still have innovation and have radical changes because of it and have that kind of growth. what do you make of that? >> there is no law that said we will have a rapid growth. there is no law that said we won't. what was important to understand is that technological capability keeps getting greater and greater and spreads to new areas. the job of government is to open old markets to new technological challenge and to accelerate the growth of new markets that are created by new technologies. we can see education as a
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service immediately with f we want to make it so. we can see health care as a service happen very, very quickly if we want to make it so. here's another really, really great example. in the last four years, the amount of truly renewable electricity generated in the united states has doubled in market share. in just four years. we can see the doubling of the market share of wind and solar, every four years for at least the next 12 years. we also can see natural gas increase by at least 50% market share in the next four years. thee predictions are based on innovations that occurred in just the last few years. all we need to do is have the government say we are in the business of opening old markets and accelerating the growth of new markets. not just debating whether we are going increase taxes by a lot or a little. not just debating whether we cut spending by a lot or a little. >> thank you very much. >> speaking of abundance, up
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next, our friend michael schumer is back with all that's skeptical. we don't call him the resident skeptic for nothing.
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poor. >> from politics to the weather and stories beyond our understanding, 2012 has been a whirl wind tour to be sure. good news despite the dooms day calendar, but for how long. with us is our resident skeptic
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who is founding publisher is skeptic magazine and the skeptic society. thank you very much for being with us. we didn't -- the world didn't end. we are all still here. shouldn't these dooms day predictors be admitting that they were wrong right now. >> they will spin doctor it and rationalize their failed prophesy. one of the favorite books is when prophesy fails. he went to the mountain top of the cultists, waiting for the mother ship to see what would rap. when it didn't, they doubled down and increased the intensity of their belief and rationalized that they miscalculated the day and that in fact it was a spiritual change. been hearing the last two days. was that the mayan calendar thing was not about the physical end of the world. it was about the spiritual end and rebirth of the world and that we've already now begun the new world that we're now living
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in. so it's like no matter what happens, they're going to claim victory and go away. so i recommend you keep making your mortgage payments. the world's not going to end in 2013 either, but there will be plenty of apocalyptic concerns. >> people have been fascinated with this for centuries now. what is it about human beings that we're always thinking there is an apocalypse coming sooner than later? >> it's a couple of things. one we do have a metaphor of time cycle. time either has a beginning and end or it repeats. the mayan calendar was a time cycle. what happened is one part of the ral dar ran out and a new cycle begins. much like our yearly calendar. so december 31st, 2012. the calendar ends and we start a new one on january 1st. it's nothing more than that. but in our mind, we like to
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think that something big is about to happen because it gives us something to look forward to. so you have different versions of the past. either it was a glorious past and we've fallen from glory and now we will return to that. or it was a grand past and we want to recapture the glory of the past. either way, the prophet always writes himself into the prophecy that we're the chosen ones. and not just religious people. there are secular versions of this that worry me about people that horde gold and guns and they're waiting for the collapse of the u.s. government and economy and they're going to be sitting with their guns ready to fend off any visitors. well, you know, that concerns me a little bit because they're not religious nuts. they are actually rational people with a bad idea. >> michael, that's actually a great point. the difference between the secular and religious doomsday folks. is there anything you could say to the secular types who are sitting with their piles of gold and everything waiting for the
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country to erode. is there anything logically, rationally to persuade people maybe this isn't the best approach? >> well, i do. these people write me and i write them back. i say look, the country's almost 250 years old. and nothing's happened like that. even remotely like that. that happens in some third world countries where they have revolutions, but we've had all these presidential elections and not once has the incumbent president had to be forced out by gun point. where that does happen in other countries. the chances of that happening here is very low. our economy has gone through major cataclysms and still people don't have to be using gold and fend off people with their guns. economy is not going to collapse. the political system's going to go on. we're going to be okay. you don't have to do that. don't waste your money on bomb shelter type things. they're just awful to look at and they're expensive and buried in the ground in idaho? come on, please. >> waste of money.
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all right. michael shermer with comforting words. still ahead, it is far from the end of the political career. the difference between historic and has been. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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john kerry will be leaving the senate soon. he's been there for 28 years. he ran for president and came close to winning. al gore almost chose him for the v.p. slot in 2000. become one of the party's leading voices on foreign affairs. and now as he nears the age of 70, he's going to cap it off with an appointment as secretary
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of state. he has earned a place in history. which makes it so easy to forget how close he came to being nothing more than a has been. the story picks up in 1972 when he was making his first bid for congress. nationally he was celebrated for his opposition to the war he'd fought in. but the locals didn't take to him. he moved to lowell, massachusetts, just to run for the house. george mcgovern carried that race. it forced him to start all over again from scratch. a law degree from boston college, a spot in the d.a.'s office in massachusetts. the clock yuz ticking. kerry was 29 when he first run for congress. but at 40, he hadn't found a place to climb to the top in
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politics. his boss surprised everyone and ran for re-election instead. then he had to step aside when another up and comer named barney frank got all the support. in 1982 race for lieutenant governor of massachusetts. the job wasn't much, but at least it was something. but the odds were long. there were a lot of ambitious democrats in massachusetts. and they all had the same idea. kerry had trouble qualifying for the ballot. he was an afterthought at the state convention. if he lost the primary, he'd probably be done for good. somehow he pulled out that race with less than 30% of the vote in the primary. all that got him was the lieutenant governors office which has snuffed out a few promising careers before. but there was an unexpected senate opening. without that twist, he might be in


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